What skills do you think are “the right mix” for success as a future leader?
Do you have those skills?
If you’re a senior leader, the skills you think are “the right mix” may not be the same as those that junior staff members view as essential. In fact, a recent Chief Learning Officer magazine article highlights the differing views that CEOs and millennials have about the skills that are needed to lead effectively in the future.
A 2017 Conference Board study reports that millennials embrace an empowering leader model. Specifically, “the prototypical leader is an inspiring coach, a compelling communicator and one whose choices and actions are informed by an intercultural perspective.” Inclusion in decision-making and well-developed interpersonal skills are how things get done, versus a more “command and control” approach.
CEOs see ideal future leaders using an effective, efficient leader model, focusing more on business savvy and efficient decision-making and less on interpersonal influence. Skill in stakeholder management is also a key skill they emphasize – for example, with shareholders, board members, and the media.
(The article also discusses possible reasons for these differing views, including leader-level, generational, and life-stage differences.)
Where do you stand on what skills are essential for future leaders?
I’ve developed a quick quiz, based on the findings of the future leader skills question in the study. Try it for yourself – and as you complete it, here are a few additional questions to reflect on:
What leadership skills are you expecting emerging leaders to have in your organization?
What leadership skills do your team members place value on?
Who on your team needs to develop these skills? Which skills are especially needed by each of your team members?
How are you providing them with ways to learn these particular skills – formally or informally?
Why are these leadership skills relevant to your mission?
Here’s the quiz. Fill in which skills you think are most important, ranking them sequentially from 1-9, with 1 being “most important” and 9 being “least important.”
How did you do? Compare your results with the findings of the study here.
Sinar, Evan and Ray, Rebecca. “What Skills Will Leaders Need in the Future? When it comes to leadership development, consider common ground before deferring to oft-overstated generational differences.” Chief Learning Officer. April 2017.
“Divergent Views/Common Ground: The Leadership Perspectives of C-Suite Executives and Millennial Leaders.” The Conference Board. 2017.
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